The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Wedding Submission by Jasmine Norris

November 03, 2018

About 7 years ago I started my wedding photography business after working in the music industry for a decade. I loved photographing weddings and getting to help capture my couple’s love stories. I dreamed of the day that I would be able to see my photography in one of my favorite wedding magazines or blogs.  After submitting and getting denied I got discouraged and didn’t know what I was doing wrong. However I kept submitting and submitting and submitting. Finally, it all clicked! Successful submissions require more than just pretty photos of couples in love. Once I started curating my submission the right way, I was able to get published and pretty soon my inbox was filled with publication acceptance emails.  I have now been published over 100 times, in both print and online, in the past few years alone! These 5 do’s and don’ts will help you craft the perfect wedding submission. Pair that with the ease and plethora of publications on Two Bright Lights and you will be seeing you work in print and online in no time!

Do Provide Information About The Wedding and Couple

The whole reason why a wedding happens is because the couple is in love and are ready to start their lives together.  This reason is why editors want to hear about the couple’s love story. Talk about how the couple met, how long they’ve been together, and how the proposal happened in your wedding submission story.  You will also want to explain the wedding in detail in a way that will allow the editor to get a good feel for the wedding day. Explain it in a way that makes them feel like they were a guest at the wedding.  Don’t focus on what you can see in the images but more on the special things that happened during the wedding. Also talk about any DIY details that the couple used for their wedding and talk about any sentimental items that may have been used.

Don’t Send Too Many Portraits

Wedding blogs and magazines exist because they are a source of inspiration for couples who are planning their wedding.  Images of the wedding couple can only provide so much inspiration. Wedding blogs and magazines, and the couples who frequent them, want to see lots of details from the wedding: the ceremony decor, reception decor, centerpieces, floral arrangements, etc.  Make sure you are including lots and lots of detail photos for your submission. You obviously need to send over some couple portraits as well since it’s the couple’s wedding and love story, but the bulk of your images should be able to provide lots of inspiration.

Do Research The Publication You’re Submitting To

The last thing you want to do is spend time correlating the perfect submission to just send it to the wrong publication!  That’s just wasting your time and the editors time. Make sure you take the time to research the publication that you are wanting to submit to.  Make sure it features the correct geographical area, correct photography style, and correct wedding theme. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the wedding and your images are, if they don’t fit the publication then it’s going to be an automatic denial. Most publications have a submission info page that lists everything that you need to know so that’s a great place to start (you can also find this information if you click on the publication in Two Bright Lights when you go to submit!).  You can also look at their past real wedding features as well as what they post on their social media to get a better feel.

Don’t Forget To Credit The Other Vendors

It takes a team of people to pull off the perfect wedding and you will want to make sure you are crediting all of those vendors in your submission. Publications want to make sure they are providing the vendor credit correctly so listing the vendors, their websites, and their emails will make it easy for the editors to provide that credit. If you have a heavily DIY’d wedding and don’t have a lot of vendors to credit, that’s okay!  Just let the editors know what elements were DIY’d and who helped with those elements.

Do Submit With The Seasons

Publications are only going to feature weddings that fit with the current seasons and holidays so you will want to keep this in mind while you are submitting.  You won’t want to send over a summer wedding in the winter or vice versa. Same thing goes with weddings that feature a strong holiday theme, once that holiday passes the publications won’t want to feature those weddings and have moved on to the next.  It’s better to save those weddings for the next year and submit before that holiday happens. Wedding themes and styles also change from year to year and from season to season so most publications will want to feature wedding that are no more than one year old.  This makes sure that the weddings they feature are fresh and relevant. One last thing to keep in mind is that publications do fill their editorial calendars in advance so if you are sending over a summer wedding at the end of summer, they may already be on the lookout for fall weddings.  If that happens, don’t get discouraged and save that wedding to submit the following year.

Blog & photos courtesy of Jasmine Norris Photography

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